False address for landlord

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    The answer to this is probably very simple so sorry for being thick.

    A tenancy agreement has been provided with an address for the landlord within our Borough that doesn’t actually exist. Confirmation of the landlord’s address was asked for and someone claiming to be the landlord phoned up and gave an address in another Borough. That Borough have confirmed that the landlord is not registered for council tax at the property.

    I’m not sure if I’m being overly suspicious or whether there is something fundamentally amiss so far, but my feeling is that we should refuse benefit on the basis that no liability exists as the tenancy agreement is surely worthless or am I completely wrong? Having just moved in, the tenant has no rent book or proof of rent paid or arrears so far can we still consider the tenancy genuine with what I would have thought is not a legally binding agreement? Is the false address completely immaterial seeing as the landlord is not going to be receiving payment direct?


    This would possibly be a starting point into an investigation but certainly not sufficient to refuse benefit altogether. Does the landlord have an agent who acts for them? Have you checked land registry? Just because the landlord is not liable for CTAX at the alternative address does not mean he doesn’t live there.


    Maybe you should arrange a visit to the landlord for confirmation of the address, providing its not too far from your offices…


    There’s no agent. The landlord is just renting out a mobile home which he owns and is situated on a relative’s land. The home hasn’t even been banded for ctax yet and therefore there’s no land registry check been done as this wouldn’t produce anything?

    The address the landlord’s given is too far for us to visit unfortunately

    John Boxall

    Talk to Environmental Health, they can serve notices on the LL to confirm various details including ownership.

    Also S48 of The Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 requires the LL to give an adress for the service of notices and no rent is payable unless this requirement is fulfilled.

    The address given however simply has to be one for the service of notices in England & Wales, not necessarily the landlords home or business address.

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    You are entitled to refuse the claim if you are not satisfied there is a genuine liability. The onus is on the council to explain why though …but if you have good grounds to do so go ahead.

    Kevin D

    The absence of a valid s.48 won’t, in itself, be sufficient grounds to refuse HB. However, if the LL cannot be traced, that surely provided substantial doubts as to whether or not there is a liability of any kind.

    That said, there is an infamous CD where a Tribunal accepted the clmt’s word a landlord existed, the LA couldn’t trace the LL, and the decision was upheld by the then Cmmr. Talk about a charter for legalised fraud… (hmmm;that’s a bit of an oxymoron…)

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